Along the route to Florence
FLORENCE (45 minutes away)
To reach the city we recommend (if you have a car) to reach the parking exchanger in Scandicci where you can leave your car and continue by tram to the city center (5 minutes journey), stop Nenni-Torregalli . Tickets can be purchased directly from the vending machines at the stop. For more info visit the website of tramway
Florence has a wealth of exceptional art. Uffizi, the most selected art gallery in the world; the Palatine Gallery, with the paintings of the "golden centuries", the Bargello, with the sculptures of the Renaissance; the Museum of San Marco, with the works of Angelico; the Academy, the Medici Chapels and the Buonarroti House, with sculptures by Michelangelo; the Bardini, Horne, Stibbert, Romano, Corsini Museums, the Gallery of Modern Art, the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, the Argenti, the Pietre Dure.
Notable monuments mark the stages of Florentine artistic civilization : the Baptistery with its mosaics; the Cathedral with its sculptures; medieval churches with fresco cycles; public and private buildings - Palazzo Vecchio, Palazzo Pitti, Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, Palazzo Davanzati; the Charterhouse; a rich documentation of the Etruscan civilization is preserved in the Archaeological Museum.
Along the route to Pisa
Pisa (50 minutes by car)
To reach Pisa we recommend a car, take the Firenze-Pisa-Livorno freeway (SGC Fi-Pi-Li) exit Pisa Nord East, to be able to reach the parking lot in Piazza dei Miracoli directly.
Pisa can be easily visited in half a day and the remaining half can be dedicated to a stop towards the sea or to visit Lucca, just 30 minutes drive away.
We recommend the tourist site for the purchase of tickets and to organize the visit of the city.
The city of Pisa has a thousand-year history, and reached its greatest splendor at the time of the Maritime Republics. Known throughout the world for its " Leaning Tower ", an extraordinary monument that enhances the quadrilogy of Piazza del Duomo (Leaning Tower, Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, Baptistery of San Giovanni and the Monumental Cemetery) declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987 and renamed by Gabriele D'Annunzio "Piazza dei Miracoli".
You can also admire the Piazza dei Cavalieri with the Palazzo dell'Orologio and the famous "Torre della Fame ”, the Palazzo della Carovana and the Church of S. Stefano dei Cavalieri.
If you prefer the sea, we recommend visiting Marina di Pisa with its pleasant new port tourist (ideal for a walk), Tirrenia and Calambrone (sand).
CERTOSA DI CALCI (50 minutes by car)
The Certosa di Pisa in Calci is a vast monumental complex located on the slopes of Monte Pisano, a few kilometers away from the city of Pisa. Founded in 1366 by a Carthusian family, the complex was enlarged between the 17th and 18th centuries and today is a splendid Baroque monument.
Today the Certosa houses two distinct museums: the National Museum of the Monumental Charterhouse of Calci and the Museum of Natural History of the University of Pisa .
The visit of the first museum is an evocative journey into the world of the Carthusians , to discover the solitary life they led, made up of rigor, meditation and contemplation, in environments that still amaze today with their splendor, magnificence and splendor of the decorations. Starting with the green court of honor, continuing with the church covered with striking frescoes, the numerous chapels for the celebration of individual mass, the monumental large cloister, the austere cell, the cloister, the large refectory for Sunday lunches, the rich guest quarters for visits by the Grand Duke and the adjoining cloister on two levels; finally, in the detached building, the ancient apothecary for the production and sale of medicines.
The tour of the Natural History Museum winds through the Certosa in the most "humble" rooms, those used by lay monks in their daily work: cellars, warehouses, oil mill, carpentry, barn and so on. These premises are now taking on a new life by hosting the prestigious collections of the Museum, the result of almost 500 years of history. These are unique collections of historical and scientific importance, which include finds from zoology, paleontology and mineralogy, as well as live animals housed in the largest freshwater aquarium in Italy https://www.msn.unipi.it/
VIAREGGIO (50 minutes by car)
Viareggio is a beautiful town on the Tuscan coast, Versilia, known mainly for Carnival, for the sea and for Puccini's music. A landscape that infuses peace with the mountains in the background.
Viareggio is also a place of culture, thanks to the presence of its beautiful Liberty Villas. Many liberty buildings can be admired along the walk : the avenue that runs along the sea is the real showcase of the city.
Among its most notable elements to note are certainly the Villa Argentina and the Caffè Margherita - which has remained almost intact from the time Giacomo Puccini used to frequent it.
LIVORNO (50 minutes by car)
The city was built by Buontalenti in 1577 because the Medici wanted to secure an outlet to the sea in this way.
For fans we recommend visiting Villa Mimbelli, home to the Museo Civico Fattori where, in addition to the works of the painter, there are also numerous masterpieces of the Tuscan Macchiaioli .
Another must-see is the Mascagni Terrace, famous for its mosaic flooring and the balustrade of 4100 marble columns, which overlooks the sea.
The whole coast south of Livorno, accessible with the SS1 Aurelia, it is characterized by many inlets and cliffs and a panoramic view of the sea.
LUCCA (45 minutes by car)
The best way to visit Lucca is to observe it from above: along the ring route on the walls, climbing the Guinigi Tower or climbing the 207 steps of the even higher Torre delle Ore. From these points you can admire a splendid view over the rooftops of the Tuscan town.
We recommend renting a bike or tandem (along the walls you will find many shops for bike rental ) to travel the tour above the walls.
Piazza dell'Anfiteatro tells in the name what was in this space occupied today by one of the most beautiful squares in Italy. The Church of San Michele, also known as del Foro, stands in the place where there was the center of ancient Lucca. The two main axes, Via Fillungo and Via San Paolino, today shopping and socializing streets, trace the Roman decumani. Also worth visiting are the Cathedral of Lucca, the churches of San Michele and San Frediano and the National Museum of Villa Mansi.
Along the route to Siena
Certaldo Alto (40 minutes by car)
The medieval village is one of the most evocative of the Tuscan countryside, known and loved not only for its aesthetic and architectural peculiarity but also for being the birthplace to Giovanni Boccaccio.
Certaldo Alto is the perfect preservation of the medieval urban fabric, with its narrow streets and small squares scattered here and there; if we exclude the renovations that have had as their object Palazzo Pretorio in the fifteenth century.
Further evidence of this feature is the lack of a large square in the historic center, while in its place we find a long and wide street (via Boccaccio).
SAN GIMIGNANO (1 hour by car)
San Gimignano is certainly to be counted among the most famous and well-known medieval villages in Tuscany; it is certain that defining it as a 'pearl' is an understatement for its beauty and poetry.
For the characteristic medieval architecture of its historic center, it has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
San Gimignano is above all famous for the approximately sixteen medieval towers that have earned it the nickname of Manhattan in the Middle Ages. Torre del Podestà, known as the Rognosa, which is 51 meters high, while the highest is the Torre Grossa, 54 meters.
Don't miss the detailed and well-stocked 'Torture Museum'.
VOLTERRA (1 hour by car)
The city, famous for the extraction and processing of alabaster, preserves a remarkable historic center of Etruscan origin with Roman ruins and medieval buildings such as the Cathedral and the Palazzo dei Priori on the homonymous square.
Of particular interest: the Romanesque cathedral, the baptistery of San Giovanni, built in the second half of the thirteenth century. The Palazzo dei Priori: stands in Piazza dei Priori and was built in 1246.
The Medici Fortress: it is made up of two fortifications joined by a curtain wall. The oldest fortress has a semi-elliptical tower. The Roman Amphitheater: it was brought to light in the fifties by archaeological excavations conducted in the locality of Vallebuona.
SIENA (1 hour by car)
To reach it we recommend taking the S.S. 429 which leads to Poggibonsi passing through Certaldo Alto. At Poggibonsi you will find the entrance to the (toll free) Florence-Siena motorway.
Before reaching the Siena Nord exit, along the Florence-Siena motorway, you will find the exit < strong> Monteriggioni , which allows you to visit the medieval village of the same name.
Siena is a place rich in history and art, but also in strong traditions, mainly linked to the districts and the famous Palio of Siena.
In the heart of the city is the wonderful Piazza del Campo, one of the symbolic places of Siena as the famous Palio is held here.
In the square you can admire the Fonte Gaia and the Palazzo Comunale and the Torre del Mangia.
The Museo dell'Opera del Duomo is one of the oldest private museums.
MONTERIGGIONI (1 hour by car)
Monteriggioni is one of the most significant fortified villages in the area. It has remained intact as if time had never passed.
The castle was built in the 13th century by the Republic of Siena, with the main purpose of defending the Republic of Siena from rival Florence. For centuries the settlement fully fulfilled the function for which it was created, repelling from time to time a myriad of sieges and attacks. Its military function ceased from the mid-16th century, when the entire territory of Siena was annexed to that of Florence.
Along the route to Pistoia
PISTOIA (30 minutes by car)
Piazza del Duomo is the heart of the city and the seat of the most important monuments: Palazzo Pretorio, the Baptistery and the Cathedral of San Zeno. p >
The Palazzo Pretorio was the seat of the city court and preserves frescoes and the centuries-old history of Pistoia; the Baptistery of San Giovanni in Corte is an octagonal construction in white Carrara marble and green Prato marble; the Cathedral of San Zeno is a marvel of Romanesque art, with architectural and pictorial overlays from later periods.
MONTECATINI (30 minutes by car)
The symbol of Montecatini is its thermal park full of establishments, including the Tettuccio , the most important thermal structure of the city for its noble architecture.
Montecatini Alto is a small, very old village, with origins prior to 1000. It can be reached by the funicular , very evocative and undoubtedly worth a visit.
The funicular was built at the end of the 19th century and still retains the wagons with wooden interiors and the floral style of the early 20th century.
PRATO (40 minutes by car)
One of the first things that attract attention within the city is the Castle of the Emperor : the only historical testimony of Swabian architecture in central-northern Italy. A short distance away is Piazza Duomo which houses the Cathedral of Santo Stefano .
We recommend a visit to the Textile Museum which thttps://www.museodeltessuto.it/estifies to the rich textile history of the city; the building that houses the museum is the "Cimatoria Campolmi Leopoldo e C." a large nineteenth-century factory within the city.